Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > 3D printing method advances electrically small antenna design

Optical image of an antenna during the printing process.
Optical image of an antenna during the printing process.

Abstract:
While most electronic components benefit from decreased size, antennas-whether in a cell phone or on an aircraft-suffer limitations in gain, efficiency, system range, and bandwidth when their size is reduced below a quarter-wavelength.

3D printing method advances electrically small antenna design

Champaign, IL | Posted on March 20th, 2011

"Recent attention has been directed toward producing antennas by screen-printing, inkjet printing, and liquid metal-filled microfluidics in simple motifs, such as dipoles and loops," explained Jennifer T. Bernhard, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Illinois. "However, these fabrication techniques are limited in both spatial resolution and dimensionality, yielding planar antennas that occupy a large area relative to the achieved performance."

"Omnidirectional printing of metallic nanoparticle inks offers an attractive alternative for meeting the demanding form factors of 3D electrically small antennas (ESAs)," stated Jennifer A. Lewis, the Hans Thurnauer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and director of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at Illinois.

"To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of 3D printed antennas on curvilinear surfaces," Lewis stated. The research findings and fabrication methods developed by Bernhard, Lewis, and their colleagues are featured in the cover article,"Illinois Calling" of the March 18 issue of Advanced Materials ("Conformal Printing of Electrically Small Antennas on Three-Dimensional Surfaces").

According to Bernhard, these antennas are electrically small relative to a wavelength (typically a twelfth of a wavelength or less) and exhibit performance metrics that are an order of magnitude better than those realized by monopole antenna designs.

"There has been a long-standing problem of minimizing the ratio of energy stored to energy radiated-the Q-of an ESA," Bernhard explained. "By printing directly on the hemispherical substrate, we have a highly versatile single-mode antenna with a Q that very closely approaches the fundamental limit dictated by physics (known as the Chu limit).

Conformal printing allows the antenna's meander lines to be printed on the outside or inside of hemispherical substrates, adding to its flexibility.

"Unlike planar substrates, the surface normal is constantly changing on curvilinear surfaces, which presents added fabrication challenges," Lewis noted. To conformally print features on hemispherical substrates, the silver ink must strongly wet the surface to facilitate patterning even when the deposition nozzle (100 μm diameter) is perpendicular to the printing surface.

To fabricate an antenna that can withstand mechanical handling, for example, the silver nanoparticle ink is printed on the interior surface of glass hemispheres. Other non-spherical ESAs can be designed and printed using a similar approach to enable integration of low Q antennas on, for example, the inside of a cell phone case or the wing of an unmanned aerial vehicle. The antenna's operating frequency is determined primarily by the printed conductor cross-section and the spacing (or pitch) between meander lines within each arm.

According to the researchers, their design can be rapidly adapted to new specifications, including other operating frequencies, device sizes, or encapsulated designs that offer enhanced mechanical robustness.

"This conformal printing technique can be extended other potential applications, including flexible, implantable, and wearable antennas, electronics, and sensors," Lewis said.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Jennifer T. Bernhard
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
217/333-0293

Jennifer A. Lewis
Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory
217/244-4973

If you have any questions about the College of Engineering, or other story ideas, contact
Rick Kubetz
writer/editor
Engineering Communications Office
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
217/244-7716

Copyright © University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

World's fastest man-made spinning object could help study quantum mechanics July 20th, 2018

Relax, just break it July 20th, 2018

Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers July 20th, 2018

The relationship between charge density waves and superconductivity? It's complicated July 19th, 2018

3D & 4D printing/Additive-manufacturing

Making carbon nanotubes as usable as common plastics: Researchers discover that cresols disperse carbon nanotubes at unprecedentedly high concentrations May 15th, 2018

New 4-D printer could reshape the world we live in March 20th, 2018

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures: Rice University researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites November 16th, 2017

3-D-printed device builds better nanofibers: Printed nozzle system could make uniform, versatile fibers at much lower cost. October 30th, 2017

Sensors

Leti & Partners Launch Pilot Program to Assess New Perception Sensors for Autonomous Vehicles July 5th, 2018

New sensor technology enables super-sensitive live monitoring of human biomolecules July 3rd, 2018

A refined magnetic sense: Algorithms and hardware developed in the context of quantum computation are shown to be useful for quantum-enhanced sensing of magnetic fields July 2nd, 2018

NIST Researchers Simulate Simple Logic for Nanofluidic Computing June 30th, 2018

Nanoelectronics

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Surpasses $2 Billion in Design Win Revenue on 22FDX® Technology : With 50 client designs and growing, 22FDX proves its value as a cost-effective solution for power-sensitive applications July 9th, 2018

High-power electronics keep their cool with new heat-conducting crystals July 6th, 2018

Leti Presenting Strategic Vision and Hosting a Workshop at SEMICON West: “From Electrons to Photons” Leti Workshop and CEO Media Briefing Set for Tuesday, July 10 in W Hotel, San Francisco June 12th, 2018

Quantum Interference May Be Key to Smaller Insulators: Breakthrough could jumpstart further miniaturization of transistors June 6th, 2018

Discoveries

World's fastest man-made spinning object could help study quantum mechanics July 20th, 2018

Relax, just break it July 20th, 2018

Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers July 20th, 2018

The relationship between charge density waves and superconductivity? It's complicated July 19th, 2018

Printing/Lithography/Inkjet/Inks/Bio-printing

Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers July 20th, 2018

Making carbon nanotubes as usable as common plastics: Researchers discover that cresols disperse carbon nanotubes at unprecedentedly high concentrations May 15th, 2018

New 4-D printer could reshape the world we live in March 20th, 2018

Leti & Mapper announce cyber-security breakthrough that encrypts individual chips with a code: Low-Cost Cyber-Security Breakthrough that Encrypts Individual Chips With a Unique Code Presented at SPIE Advanced Lithography 2018 in San Jose March 2nd, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project